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Free ride: 60k hop on Sun Link in first days of streetcar ops

The offer of a free ride was taken up by about 60,000 Tucsonans over the first three days of streetcar operations, as the opening of the Sun Link streetcar led to long lines of potential passengers waiting to board.
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Jul 28, 2014, 1:26 pm
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This is wonderful news! If we can keep this up, maybe this won’t be a boondoggle after all!

60k riders over 3 days is 20k riders a day. Let’s say they each spend the 4 bucks on a day pass. That comes to $80,000 of income each day.

It has been said elsewhere that maintenance and operating costs are estimated to be about $4m, and about $1m of that will be recovered by those who pay the fares, so about $3m a year to operate.

So, using the above numbers, the choo choo train will bring in $29,200,000.25 each year. So, that means the break-even point will be right around six years and nine months! Not bad! After that, the big bucks start rolling in!

OK, leaving fantasy-land for a moment, what are the odds that these ridership numbers will continue to even be a fraction of this once people have to pay and the honeymoon period wears off?

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